Don’t Talk to Me #49

on a good day, we’d shop in the discount bins at Giant Tiger, 
store glowing ugly yellow, buy those knock off white Converse, 

hundreds of bins overflowing with junk, thousands of plastic objects 
ready made to reach the sea, one day or another

pick one thing, you’d say, and i’m lost at sea, running down aisles 
of shoes and toys, of chips and laundry detergent, of books and blankets, 

i’ll be older, bolder, ready to buy my own things,  but now, a 12 year old kid, 
a b0(d)y still small with no puberty, that bitch really kicked me in the ass, sent me spiraling 

into submission, remission, the goodie bags from Claire’s I could never buy, 
the clinky hoop earrings so big they touch my shoulders, all the other girls

had periods, talked about cramps, pads, tampons, a tiny pimple on Kay’s clear face
and jokes on you, little twelve year old, who knew you’d be regretting your wish

your uterus now the size of your head throbbing, commercials reminding you
blood = woman, and I find it harder to believe I ever wanted anything 

as much, my pants growing tight, tighter, tighter, bursting at the seems
and then hours in a change room crying, i’m dying, the drama elevating my memories, 

but what about the terry cloth and the daily comfort of walking out of a hot shower wrapped up in vapor fog and what the hell is wellness really but fake news told on the tele

vision of a life not bogged down with money tired, left to my own devices 
put on my beige converse and head out the door, slush puddles and forgiveness 

but white world, what have you done for my care, for my being
for the unforgotten pain you once told me was my fault

perspective is warped when you’ve been told the same thing forever, 
it’s called brainwashing, turns out you don’t need to dangle a swinging pendulum, 

don’t talk to me, look away from your eyes, the basilisk ready to kill with a single glance 
you always forget the unfortunate events, cram them down, lower, deeper, 

you told me we got to keep the doors shut, close the fridge quickly, 
wrap our windows in the winter, don’t start the car too early, don’t eat too much, 

we just don’t have enough, don’t talk to me, when I’m halfway down the aisle 
and I stop, my eyes popping from the glitter on those pants, the colour, heavenly, 

I’m twelve, haven’t seen anything like that, price tags matching the bling, 
you always shake your head, we don’t have enough, stick to a budget, 

the dollars always slip slip slipping away, the days growing shorter, colder, 
the windows getting wrapped, sidetracked, we forget to close the doors quick enough 

I listen deep into the still awake night, windows wrapped and the warmth kept in, 
it’s 2 am in every poem and we are trying to recover